Andy Burrows – Company (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
ANDY Burrows has long been on our favourites playlist, ever since his Sun Comes Up Again album (under his I Am Arrows guise) blew us away.
Now, he releases his solo album, Company, and once again delights. Co-produced by Burrows with Tim Baxter, it’s an album steeped in rock classicism and raw, melancholic melodies, most of which instantly impress.
There have been singles (most of them turned into our records of the week) but it’s a measure of just how good this is that album opener Company rates among the very best that Burrows’ has so far offered.
Low-key, brooding yet beautiful, it’s a track that has a very bittersweet vibe and which recalls the classic song-writing of acts like Crowded House and Coldplay given its emotional reach. It’s also comparable with our own personal favourite I Am Arrows track, Bruises.
Thereafter, there’s a note of familiarity with a couple of the singles. Because I Know That I Can marries On The Beach-era Neil Young with Doobie Brothers grooves over a tale of “two people trying to out passive-aggressive each other”. It’s hooks are great.
Keep On Moving On then drops more of a rock ‘n’ roll stomp and a funky vibe that was born out of Burrows’ studio sessions with Mark Ronson, but which Burrows decided to keep for himself (and deservedly so). It’s great.
Evidence of Burrows’ versatility is immediately apparent again on Maybe You, a dusky, troubadour-esque offering that wraps another bittersweet tale around banjo licks and, belatedly, some horns and brass. It has a showman vibe come the finale that’s completely disarming and a real surprise.
Elsewhere, Hometown spins an epic yarn that begins like a mix of Coldplay-meets-Take That (complete with piano melodies) before layering in the strings and setting up an orchestral sweep that ends suddenly (leaving you wanting more). It’s a great anthem in waiting and yet further evidence of Burrows’ ability to deliver some of the best ballads of the moment.
Somebody Calls Your Name picks up the tempo, whisks up some warmer acoustic-backed melodies and drops a Lennon/McCartney style vibe that’s utterly charming, while Stars In The Sky once more hits you with another great ballad and Shaking The Colour gets those toes back tapping with a rock out moment comparable to Jeff Lynne in his prime (and a great falsetto chorus).
Pet Air then rounds off the album with another moody yet mesmerising mix of guitars and strings that underline Burrows’ brilliance. This really is an album not to be missed.
Download picks: Company, Keep On Moving On, Hometown, Shaking The Colour, Pet Air